Natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant capacity for electricity generation in the U.S. surpassed coal-fired plants in January this year, the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Wednesday.
In the U.S., generating capacity at natural gas-fired combined-cycle (NGCC) power plants totaled 264 gigawatts (GW) as of January 2019, compared with 243 GW at coal-fired power plants, according to the EIA.
The administration said approximately 40 GW of coal-fired capacity have retired in the U.S. since the beginning of 2015, and no new coal capacity has come online since then.
During that period, natural gas-fired combined-cycle net capacity has grown by around 30 GW, it said, adding "The electricity generation from these NGCC capacity additions, as well as output from new wind and solar generators, has largely offset the lost generation from coal retirements."
Natural gas-fired combined-cycle power provided almost 90% of total natural gas-fired generation of electricity in the U.S. by the end of 2018, the EIA noted.
The administration said NGCC powered electricity generation "should consistently rank as the most prevalent source of electricity generation in the U.S. for the foreseeable future."
By Ovunc Kutlu